Why Paul Warne did not want Rotherham United's season to start in Cup

ROTHERHAM UNITED manager Paul Warne admits that he would rather be starting the season with a league fixture as opposed to a Carabao Cup encounter in an ideal world.

Paul Warne.

After an 182-day absence from competitive action, the Millers make their footballing return in Saturday afternoon's tricky Cup first-round test at ambitious League Two outfit Salford City as the visitors make their first ever visit to Moor Lane.

It is a break with tradition, with clubs usually starting their campaign with a league game with a opening round League Cup appointment following in the midweek.

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On why Warne would have prefered things to stay that way, he explained: "I would have much prefered to have played (in the league) on the Saturday and then had the Cup game on the Tuesday, to be honest.

"From a managerial point of view, I could have gone full strength in the league game and then if the performance was not up to it, I could have put them back out again in the League Cup.

"If the performance was good, I could have rested a few for the next league game and then thrown the lads who were not fortunate enough to start into the Tuesday night game.

"Whatever 11 I pick, they are all capable of playing. It is not like I am carrying loads of young, inexperienced players.

"They can all play in the team. But I would have preferred if the league was the first game."

The Millers will be without Ben Wiles, Trevor Clarke, Matt Olosunde and Curtis Tilt for Saturday's Cup tie.

Jamal Blackman, Viktor Johansson, Wes Harding, Angus MacDonald and Kieran Sadlier could be handed competitive debuts.

Fellow newcomer Mickel Miller is suspended after picking up two bookings in his last game in Scotland for Hamilton.